Andrea Sahouri, Des Moines Register Reporter, Acquitted in Protest Arrest

Andrea Sahouri was covering a George Floyd protest last May when she was arrested

Des Moines Register

Journalist Andrea Sahouri was acquitted Wednesday after being arrested while covering a protest over the death of George Floyd in May of 2020.

Sahouri had been charged with failure to disperse and interference with official acts, both misdemeanors. Her employer, the Des Moines Register, chronicled her trial on its website and announced her acquittal.

Her case has earned widespread media attention and condemnation from organizations supporting the freedom of the press. After the verdict, Sahouri simply tweeted “Acquitted” along with a few photos of her arrest.

Sahouri testified that she repeatedly stated she was a member of the press during the arrest.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea to run from officers because I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” she said. “I put up my hands and said, ‘I’m press, I’m press,’ and he grabbed me and pepper-sprayed me and told me, ‘That’s not what I asked.’”

The Freedom of the Press Foundation took an interest in her case and provided periodical updates on it as her trial progressed.

A representative for the Register did not immediately return a request for comment, but Sahouri’s colleagues cheered the decision online.

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